Award was for ‘cooperation’ with FBI investigation ‘of great importance’
Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage.com, an alleged sex trafficking website that was taken down by feds just as they were arresting a number of its executives, is pleading guilty to conspiracy and money laundering, and likely will serve time in prison under a plea agreement.
It’s a steep fall after having been honored by Robert Mueller, then FBI director and now special counsel in an investigation that has yet to find evidence of “Russian collusion” with the Trump campaign of 2016.
NBC News reported the latest on Ferrer’s case.
The site was dubbed an “online brothel” by prosecutors, and this week Ferrer pleaded guilty to reduced charges in a plea bargain that will have him cooperate in the prosecution against others.
Backpage founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin have pleaded not guilty.
The image of the award from the FBI, signed by Mueller, states the bureau is “proud to recognize Carl Ferrer, Vice President, Backpage.com for your outstanding cooperation and assistance in connection with an investigation of great importance. The FBI’s ability to carry out its investigative responsibilities to the American people has been greatly enhanced through your help, and you can be very proud of your valuable contributions to the success achieved.”
FBI sources said the honor might even have included a cash reward.
Backpage was accused of posting sex business ads in violation of the law.
The reports also noted it apparently isn’t the first controversy in which Mueller was involved.
A report by the Howie Carr show said questions remain about what Mueller knew about the FBI’s decision to frame four innocent men for a murder they didn’t commit.
The report explains: “This is a major FBI scandal, perhaps the most outrageous one in American history. The FBI railroaded four men to prison for a murder the G-men knew they did not commit, and then made sure they remained in prison for upwards of 30 years.
“They (or their estates, because two of them died in prison) were eventually awarded a total of $102 million in 2007 by a federal judge for false imprisonment.”
The four were Henry Tameleo, Peter Limone, Louis Greco and Joseph Salvati, and they were sentenced for the death of “small-time hoodlum … Teddy Deegan in a Chelsea alley in March 1965.”
The report explained that an FBI informant committed perjury to settle old scores and protect a friend.
In fact, the FBI had the names of the actual murderers.
“Yet the FBI remained silent as the four men were convicted, and then imprisoned. Two were sent to what was then Death Row,” the report said.
Flash forward to the 1980s, when the U.S. attorney in Boston, Bill Weld, wrote the state parole board demanding that one of the convicts not be released.
Mueller had gone to work in that office the year before the letter was written.
Mueller only a few years later succeeded Weld, and the attorney who eventually replaced him insisted on the same policy.
Said the report: “So Mueller’s predecessor and his successor both lobbied state authorities not to release the innocent men. But did Mueller? Michael Albano, a former member of the parole board, as well as a former mayor of Springfield, says he has seen a letter Mueller wrote about the imprisoned men.”
However, the parole board now cannot find such a letter, reported Carr.